The best-known imitators of human voices, undoubtedly, are the parrots, but in nature there are plenty of other animals, able to learn new sounds. Some of them were seals — scientists from St. Andrews University proved it, by teaching them how to play the main theme from “Star wars” and the English lullaby “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. At first this idea may seem meaningless fun, but really research can reveal causes of speech disorders in humans.
In a long-term study involved three seals: Ash, Janice and Gandalf. They were under the supervision of researchers from a very early age — scientists have recorded that they produce the natural sounds, and during the research created a kind of “catalogue of seals of the repertoire.” Collected data is quickly given to understand that these animals make sounds using the same structure of the larynx, and people.
Seal sings a tune from “Star wars”
Having established this, the researchers began to teach seals to publish new sounds — animals demonstrated an amazing skill to imitate the human voice, changing the voice frequency tones. Among the three seals stood out Ash, who was able to repeat 10 popular songs, including the aforementioned theme from “Star wars” and the familiar lullaby.
I was amazed at how good the seals are copying the sounds that we gave them to listen. Of course, they imitated them perfectly, but given that they are for them is very unusual, this is an impressive result. Our study demonstrates a high level of vocal ability is the seal, — said one of the researchers, Amanda Stansbury.
Researchers believe that tracing the development of vocal abilities of seals since childhood, they will be able to compare this knowledge with the development of the voice of the people. After examining two sets of data, they hope to identify the causes of speech disorders in people, and to develop methods for their treatment. According to them, in speech play a great role as a genetic factors and the teaching process itself.
In addition to the seals, to imitate the human voice can also and elephants. The most famous of them is Kaushik from the zoo Korean city of Yongin. The vet Oh Suk-Hoon, he learned to repeat the words of the Ministers of the zoo from loneliness when he was separated from his kindred. Thus, his vocabulary consisted of five words: “Hello”, “sit”, “lie”, “no” and “good”.
On the theme of animals also suggest to read about a snake with two heads that was found in Virginia in the summer of 2018. How she became famous, and how was her fate? Read our material.
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